Flashlight with toxic "rubber" switch cover?

StefanFS

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Recently I received two ELLY flashlights which I hadn't ordered from one of the two suppliers common to CPF. I had ordered jetlighters!
When I opened the bubblewrapped lights I noticed a strong hydrocarbon type smell from the "rubber" switch covers. Reminded me of how old generator oil smells.

rubber.jpg


I don't have the equipment to test these for phthalates, dioxin or other toxic compounds, but from the smell and texture of the "rubber" I strongly advise to minimize contact with this material. Especially when new.
Stefan
 

cage

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Oh no. I wish there was some way to test this. Is it safe to use the flashlight if I remove the rubber and o-rings?
 

FlashCrazy

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I've noticed the same smell on my Ellys. Actually a lot of Chinese rubber smells that way...I've noticed it on other products as well.
 

StefanFS

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Thats the curse of "everyone always want cheaper stuff". Then you have to cut corners, the Elly lights are very cheap so I guess they use the cheapest components available.

Please note my question mark in the thread title. I don't actually know if this is toxic or not!

I'm just making an educated guess here. But from experience I know that plastics and rubberlike substances that have a strong chemical smell often are toxic or induce allergic reactions over time. My personal approach is: When it smells badly of chemicals, apply the same precautions appropriate for handling epoxy, contact glue and similar products.
Stefan
 

Cydonia

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Vickers said:
WalMart smells like that.

Because 80% of everything they sell is made in China. That's a semi-official figure too.
Want cheap? Sure, we give you cheap... it might give you cancer, but hey, you save a buck right?

It's a shame the lights are like that though. Are you going to keep them still?
 
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BBL

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Could someone describe that smell, or maybe give some examples.

I noticed the aleph/mcclicky tailcap rubber boots have a strong smell, i hope those are ok.
 

stonehenge69

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Chances are the rubber used is SBR (Styrene Butadiene Rubber).
The smell is most likely Styrene. During the manufacturing process, the residual styrene is "stripped" from the latex using steam. It sounds like the rubber used in the tail caps were made using high styrene latex that would be considered out of spec here in the states.

A large number of people have allergies to styrene, myself included. Being the head operator at a local SBR plant many years, I had to deal with it every day.


BTW... Here's something else to consider, one of the side affects of being exposed to Butadiene (the other main ingredient in SBR) is ***** shrinkage :awman:


Trey
 

xiaowenzu

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Cydonia said:
Because 80% of everything they sell is made in China. That's a semi-official figure too.
Want cheap? Sure, we give you cheap... it might give you cancer, but hey, you save a buck right?

HAHA, I AGREE. Manufacturers of Chinese made products don't need to adhere to safety requirements because there are none in China. The motto is make a quick buck using whatever rubbish you can mix to make rubber. Same goes with Chinese plastics..

..My folks once bought some cheap Chinese sandals, thinking what a great bargain they were. But a few days later their feet soles started to shed skin, and we could'nt find out why. It was only later that when we bought new sandals (swedish made) that we in hindsight realised the Chinese plastic ones were poisonous. ugh :(
 

Cydonia

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The supermarket near me is full of Chinese oranges all of a sudden. Huge piles of them, all with a weird deep artificial looking orange color. I wouldn't dare buy any, who knows what they use to spray them with, without any rules over there? Chinese kiwi fruits and some pears show up more and more too... It's a shame, but I can't trust or risk eating it.
 

Bertrik

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My tailcaps just smell like "rubber" to me. Perhaps a bit of a smoky/oily smell too.
I smelled (smelt?) styrene before (in polyester resin) but the Elly tailcap does not smell like that.
 

Morelite

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The rubber boots that Don uses have that "smell" when new too. I'm not sure where he had them made but they seem to be of good quality.
 

Nell

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The smell was super strong on the River Rock headlamp I picked up a year ago. I took a wet towell and tried to wipe it off and then left it in the sun and air for a few days. The smell disappeared. The Elly had a very mild smell compared with the RR, but they were similar. I may try some alcohol on a swab next time.
 

Alin10123

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xiaowenzu said:
HAHA, I AGREE. Manufacturers of Chinese made products don't need to adhere to safety requirements because there are none in China. The motto is make a quick buck using whatever rubbish you can mix to make rubber. Same goes with Chinese plastics..

..My folks once bought some cheap Chinese sandals, thinking what a great bargain they were. But a few days later their feet soles started to shed skin, and we could'nt find out why. It was only later that when we bought new sandals (swedish made) that we in hindsight realised the Chinese plastic ones were poisonous. ugh :(

I once read a news article where a company was giving away a free silver colored necklace for buying a certain product. A young kid later on swallowed a piece that had broken off and died of poisoning. When the chain was later on taken to be tested, the material underneath the plating was 99.9% lead. All of those types of chains that were manufactured in China were all recalled. Who knows how many are still floating around out there.
 

xiaowenzu

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Cydonia said:
Chinese kiwi fruits and some pears show up more and more too... It's a shame, but I can't trust or risk eating it.

Same here. Just stick with the fresh locally made groceries, because the Chinese ones aren't so fresh since they've travelled 30,000 miles to get here. Also Chinese fruits aren't much cheaper nowadays because rising air fuel prices for transportation. :)
 

StefanFS

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I don't think the problem is a "Chinese" problem. There are a lot of fine, high quality products made in China by responsible manufacturers. The problem is that there is a market for the ultra low cost products, that Clas Ohlson, WalMart, Tesco and similar chains import the stuff in order to make a huge profit. In such stores I have seen some of the stuff Dealextreme or QCG sell go for ten times more than what I pay when I order from HK.

In this case I think such "rubber" compunds are made out of byproducts from the crude oil industry. It's also fairly common that cheap "rubber" contains Creosote and phathalates. Thats the origin of the vile smell, byproducts from refineries and/or Creosote. I can only try to imagine the conditions for those make the stuff in the "low" cost factories.
Stefan
 
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